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If you’ve ever spoken to anyone who does rescue work or works at an animal shelter, you may have heard about Black Dog Syndrome (BDS). Black Dog Syndrome is when dogs (and cats) with black fur get passed over for adoption in favor of other pets. 

October is all about our sleek, darker-colored canine friends. Yes, it is National Black Dog Day, a holiday devoted to encouraging the adoption of darker colored dogs. 

Why Do Black Dogs Have Their Own Holiday?

National Black Dog Day (also known as World Black Dog Day) was founded by Pet and Family Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige in 2011. This special day was founded to help highlight the difficulties of black dogs in shelters and end the stigma about their color. 

Why You Should Choose the Darker-Furred Dog

Black dogs are just like any other colored dog; they play, fetch, chase, enjoy long walks and treats, and make great companions.  Most importantly, ebony pups have just as much love to give as their lighter-colored, multi-colored and spotted counterparts.

Whatever traits you love in a dog, they come in black! Not only do black dogs come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and temperaments, they are available in shelters everywhere, and they all need loving homes.

Why are Black Dogs Overlooked?

How can people leave dogs behind merely because of the color of their fur?  A variety of factors play into this disheartening phenomenon:

Some people believe that black dogs don’t photograph well because their features don’t stand out. Since many people look online or at shelter photographs before choosing a canine companion, this lack of clarity in photos may work against darker dogs.

  • People have also speculated that dark-colored dogs’ personalities don’t show through in pictures because their expressions are not easy to see.
  • Some people perceive all black dogs as being mean or aggressive.  This misperception may come from seeing darker colored dogs in antagonistic roles in TV and film.  For example, the media can often portray Dobermans or Rottweilers as vicious attack dogs protecting villains9.

How You Can Help

You can help black-furred friends find their forever home by spreading the word about National Black Dog Day!

Many people are considering adding a dog to their families or are currently searching for a dog to adopt – make them aware of the plight of black dogs in shelters. You might be the one who inspires someone to give a black dog a loving home!

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.